Corporate Media Must Widen Their Iraq-Gate Investigation Beyond the "16 Words"
Interview with Steve Rendall, senior analyst with Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, conducted by Melinda Tuhus
Sixteen words in President Bush's State of the Union Address last Jan. 28, "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa," are becoming as well-known as the 18-minute gap in former president Nixon's White House tape made famous in the Watergate scandal. Whether the latest questions on Bush's Iraq policy will lead down the path of impeachment or resignation is far from clear.
One critical element in the evolution of the Watergate scandal was the lead role of the mainstream press, some of whose reporters pursued the story with dogged determination and provided the public with critical details about the lies and coverup coming from the White House. But the U.S. media has undergone dramatic changes over the past three decades, with just a handful of conglomerates now controlling virtually all television networks, radio stations, newspapers and magazines. Instead of journalism being the primary mission in many newsrooms, profit for shareholders is now the bottom line. In the current media climate, very few corporate reporters are willing to ask the tough questions that, in the past, had helped topple a president.
Over the last few weeks the press, has however, focused on the Africa Uranium story in great detail. In an interview recorded on July 14, Between The Lines' Melinda Tuhus spoke with Steve Rendall, senior analyst with the group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, or FAIR, about what the media should be investigating in this unfolding scandal.
Call FAIR at (212) 633-6700 or visit their website at www.fair.org
"Kucinich: Cheney Must Explain Role in African Uranium Scandal," by Malia Rulon, The Associated Press, July 22, 2003
"The Next Debate: Al Qaeda Link," by Daniel Benjamin and Steven Simon, The New York Times, July 20, 2003
"16 Questions for President Bush," by Howard Dean, July 18, 2003
"Democrat Eyes Potential Grounds for Bush Impeachment," by John Milne, Reuters, July 17, 2003
"20 Lies About the War: Falsehoods Ranging from Exaggeration to Plain Untruth Were Used to Make the Case for War. More Lies are Being Used in the Aftermath," by Glen Rangwala and Raymond Whitaker, The Independent/UK, July 13, 2003
"A Firm Basis for Impeachment," Robert Scheer, Los Angeles Times, July 15, 2003
"Ten Appalling Lies We Were Told About Iraq," By Christopher Scheer, AlterNet.org, June 23, 2003
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